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Senator Alleges White House Wrote Allawi's Speech 1281

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "In a letter to the White House, a leading US Senate Democrat, Diane Feinstein, expressed 'profound dismay' that the White House allegedly wrote a large portion of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress last week. 'His speech gave me hope that reconstruction efforts were proceeding in most of the country and that elections could be held on schedule. To learn that this was not an independent view, but one that was massaged by your campaign operatives, jaundices the speech and reduces the credibility of his remarks.'"
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Senator Alleges White House Wrote Allawi's Speech

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  • Letters from Iraq (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asciiwhite ( 679872 ) <asciiwhite AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:26PM (#10401265)
    2 letters home from Iraq ( a soldier's letter, & a reporter's letter) [indymedia.org].

    As Slashdot has no real interest in having a balanced ground of political news, i thought i'd post this here for any Slashdotters who would like to read it... (and before i get the flood's of "This is a tech website" why don't you actually look at the poltics section, it's about politics.. not all of it is tech related)

    Letter from a US soldier Why We Cannot Win by Al Lorentz

    Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naÃve young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region. I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win here for a number of reasons. Ideology and idealism will never trump history and reality. When we were preparing to deploy, I told my young soldiers to beware of the "political solution." Just when you think you have the situation on the ground in hand, someone will come along with a political directive that throws you off the tracks. I believe that we could have won this un-Constitutional invasion of Iraq and possibly pulled off the even more un-Constitutional occupation and subjugation of this sovereign nation. It might have even been possible to foist democracy on these people who seem to have no desire, understanding or respect for such an institution. True the possibility of pulling all this off was a long shot and would have required several hundred billion dollars and even more casualties than weâve seen to date but again it would have been possible, not realistic or necessary but possible. Here are the specific reasons why we cannot win in Iraq. First, we refuse to deal in reality. We are in a guerilla war, but because of politics, we are not allowed to declare it a guerilla war and must label the increasingly effective guerilla forces arrayed against us as "terrorists, criminals and dead-enders." This implies that there is a zero sum game at work, i.e. we can simply kill X number of the enemy and then the fight is over, mission accomplished, everybody wins. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We have few tools at our disposal and those are proving to be wholly ineffective at fighting the guerillas. The idea behind fighting a guerilla army is not to destroy its every man (an impossibility since he hides himself by day amongst the populace). Rather the idea in guerilla warfare is to erode or destroy his base of support. So long as there is support for the guerilla, for every one you kill two more rise up to take his place. More importantly, when your tools for killing him are precision guided munitions, raids and other acts that create casualties among the innocent populace, you raise the support for the guerillas and undermine the support for yourself. (A 500-pound precision bomb has a casualty-producing radius of 400 meters minimum; do the math.) Second, our assessment of what motivates the average Iraqi was skewed, again by politically motivated "experts." We came here with some fantasy idea that the natives were all ignorant, mud-hut dwelling camel riders who would line the streets and pelt us with rose petals, lay palm fronds in the street and be eternally grateful. While at one time there may have actually been support and respect from the locals, months of occupation by our regular military forces have turned the formerly friendly into the recently hostile. Attempts to correct the thinking in this regard are in vain; it is not politically correct to point out the fact that the locals are not only disliking us more and more, they are growing increasingly upset and often overtly hostile. Instead of addressing the reasons why th

    • Al Lorentz (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:36PM (#10401345)
      Incidentally, Al Lorentz is under the threat of serious jail time for speaking out.
      • Allawi (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @03:28AM (#10402472) Homepage Journal
        In case y'all didn't know, Allawi is also a longtime CIA and Mossad "asset".

        Maybe some of the insurgency is inspired by the feeling that the country shouldn't have a U.S./Israeli mole installed as chief executive, no?

        • How to solve Iraq (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs@ajsBOYSEN.com minus berry> on Friday October 01, 2004 @10:24AM (#10404113) Homepage Journal
          The US can solve the problems in Iraq tomorrow. It would be the end of GW's presidency, and US foriegn policy would suffer for decades to come as a result, but I think it's time to cut our losses and gain the best possible outcome that we can.

          1) Arrange to slack Mr. Allawi's protection just enough that he can be killed (I'm not suggesting that we do it, just that we let it happen). He knew the risks when he went in, and he will be dying for the cause he claims to advocate.

          2) Have GW make an appearance on Al J the next day BEFORE he speaks to the US press (very important).

          3) He says that the US mourns Allawi. Make it clear that he's one of "ours".

          4) Admit that western forces cannot control Iraq's "strong spirit and determination." It's important to not be negative toward the Iraqi's. They need to feel like they have the power to make the next move or OUR next move won't work.

          5) Point to the most anti-western, pro-Islam, fundamentalist we can find who has a large base of followers, but is generally not a terrorist so much as an honest freedom fighter for Iraq, the way I hope GW would be if the US were occupied by a foreign force. Someone who won't just bomb the crap out the Kurds and set up his own rape rooms, but everyone knows isn't going to be our friend.

          6) Make the offer. US troops will withdraw, entirely with no conditions, in a two week period the moment he takes over the Iraqi government.

          7) Walk away and never explain. If someone asks about Iraq, you have to look at your shoes and say, "it's a shame... it's just a shame."

          If we do that, and do it soon, we win. Iraq will be no more anti-western than when we stared (that would be impossible). They will have no more or less love for Israel (that too would be impossible). The problems in the region will not have been solved. However, someone with the political clout to re-build Iraq without being attacked by guerilla bombings every day will be able to establish order. It will be slow and painful. There will be abuses, but it will work because he will appear to have "kicked out the Americans". In the end we will have removed the largest source of instability in the region (which we created) and accomplished our goal of removing S.H.

          If our twin goals are to liberate the Iraqis and reduce the threat of terrorism world-wide, this is, IMHO, the strongest step we can make.
        • Re:Allawi (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Squeeze Truck ( 2971 ) <xmsho@yahoo.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @10:47AM (#10404353) Homepage
          In case y'all didn't know, Allawi is also a longtime CIA and Mossad "asset".

          So is Osama Bin Laden.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:38PM (#10401361)
      Isn't this the Bush admininstration in a nutshell? If you disagree with us, you are un-American, disloyal, unpatriotic.

      That's what America is all about: blindly following our commander-in-chief, not questioning their policies, always agreeing.

      Just give me my 12 hours of TV, and my low-carb 2000 calorie retired dairy cow hamburgers, and my gas-guzzling SUVs, and I WILL BE HAPPY.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:08AM (#10401576)
      Seeing how the comments so far have been moderated, it's quite clear that the moderators are either unaware, or unwilling to be aware of a serious problem in America.
      -1 mod for overrated? For posting two editorials critical of the war?

      This is a prime example of why America is headed for disaster.

      If you're genuinely interested in knowing what's really happening in the world, I would suggest looking beyond CNN, FOX, Wall Street journal and the New York Times. All of America's big media is owned by a very small group with very strong political leanings. When you look to them, you only get one side of the story.

      If you want the other side, places like www.cursor.org are a good place to start.

      • "Seeing how the comments so far have been moderated, it's quite clear that the moderators are either unaware, or unwilling to be aware of a serious problem in America."

        MOD PARENT UP!!!! Exactly right.

        You cannot develop an accurate opinion by listening to the innuendo from media employees who would lose their jobs if they seemed to indicate a preference for one candidate over another. Remember, the media exists to make money. Unfortunately, we don't have directly supported media, only ad supported media, and advertisers, understandably, are careful not to alienate anyone.

        Please don't be intimidated by someone with unspecified objections, or objections that merely try to draw attention away from the major issues. Consider everything in the light of your own experiences and your own extensive investigation.

        If you have never read the books [futurepower.org] about the Bush family and Bush administration, I suggest you do so. If you read the books, you will see that the corruption is far worse than you are being told.

        Bush: Borrowing money [brillig.com] to try to make his administration look good.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:45AM (#10402365)
        If you're genuinely interested in knowing what's really happening in the world ... look to the world for your news, not just media in the US. Media outlets in other countries are not afraid to be critical of the US in their everyday reporting. With the internet, it's easy to look up news from other countries.

        Language barrier? Just read the Aussie [smh.com.au] news (reg. required, sorry).
        • by lee7guy ( 659916 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @07:57AM (#10403090)
          Yes, or maybe BBC News [bbc.co.uk]. No registration requiered.
        • by Stephen Samuel ( 106962 ) <samuel@NoSpam.bcgreen.com> on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:49AM (#10403335) Homepage Journal
          ...Look to the world for your news, not just media in the US. Media outlets in other countries are not afraid to be critical of the US in their everyday reporting.

          My first big exposure to this was during the Iran Hostage crisis in 1979. US Media was "Oh, those Iranians hate us, they want to kill us and they don't think straight.:
          Canadian media got most of their feeds from US stations, but were more moderate... pointing out how Iranians liked the US people but had serious distrust for the US Government.
          European media were essentially going "What the hell is the US Doing???? Are they nuts????? They saw US actions in Iran at the time as counter-productive and generally stupid.

          My reading is that US actions in the late 70s and early 80s destroyed the political lives of just about every moderate in Iran (most of them ended up dead), and pushed Iran from being neutral/pro US into being a heavily anti-US radical Islamic state. We're still dealing with that debacle -- including the very new quagmire in Iraq which has raised anti-US sentiment in the region to an entirely new level.

          When Bush I led the Invasion of Iraq in 1991, Iraqis saw the incoming coalition as a savior. When Bush Sr. called on them to revolt against Saddam, many did so. Even after receiving a brutal drubbing at the hands of the US, Iraqi soldiers were doing things like spontaneously chanting "Long Live George Bush".

          There was even a case of a tank crew coming across a bunch of American soldiers with their jeep stuck. The tank crew pulled the American soldiers out of their quagmire, and then happily surrendered to them.

          What did the Bush Sr. do for them? Once he had achieved his objectives, he stopped what would have been a victory drive into a breathlessly waiting Baghdad, and modified the terms of Iraq's no-fly orders to allow Saddam to use his helicopters to brutally suppress the very revolt that Bush had called for.

          He completely betrayed his allies (the people of Iraq). That is probably a very big part of what Bush Jr. had going against him when he invaded Iraq in the first place -- the name of his father who killed one part of the Iraqi population, and then betrayed the rest. Leaving them in the hands of a brutal dictator and punnishing them with sanctions to boot.

          US actions in Iraq in this invasion (being very careless of neutral Iraqi lives) have made things even worse. Things like the debacle in Abu Gharab prison and the killing if Iraqi kids who had gathered around a disabled US tank have made things much worse.

          For the time being, as long as Bush is in power, the USA has absolutely no chance of succeeding in Iraq.

          If Americans want to salvage any sort of success in Iraq, the first thing they have to do is vote Bush out of office. -- Then Kerry needs to completely shift the attitude of the US military in Iraq to one of protecting and aiding Neutral Iraqis -- The US said that they went into Iraq to protect the Iraqi people, and they now need to act consistent with those words -- or eat them along with bombs and bullets.

      • by jsebrech ( 525647 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @07:56AM (#10403088)
        I wouldn't say the leaning is necessarily political, that would imply those who own the media actually care about anything but profit, and I see no evidence that's the case.

        The media can legally lie, this has been the case for decades. So if you're a business, and your primary goal is to make profit, and it isn't always most profitable to tell the truth, and there's no financial harm in telling a lie, why not lie? Also, why try to do investigative journalism to find out the truth? If you do the hard research and find out the truth, you can get one story out of it, maybe two. If you don't do the research, you can report a new story every time someone involved in the story makes a comment about it. Perfect example of this: swift boat vets, with research you can validate or invalidate their claims, but no one in the mainstream media tried to do that because it would kill the story. So most news outlets tend to have stories biased in all directions, which is why the same news sources (CNN) get called biased to the right and biased to the left at the very same time. It's because they are biased in both directions, since their allegiance is not to politics, but to profitability.

        The name of the game is drawing viewers to draw advertisers. In order to not scare away viewers, you can't tell them what they don't want to hear. What americans don't want to hear is that Iraq is a failed venture, so the failings in Iraq get downplayed and underreported. How often have you heard people complain the news is too negative, and how often have you heard them complain the news is too positive? People don't like to hear bad things about themselves or their country, so in order to keep them tuned to your station, you try to keep from telling them that. Also, advertisers. You can't take extreme positions, even if they're true, on issues because it will scare away advertisers. So the media tends to line stories in so much vagueness and he-said-she-said's that no advertiser can object to it, which doesn't exactly serve the truth either.

        This is made worse by a republican message machine which is decades ahead of the democrat one. You have the conservative talk radio network, the white house which blocks access to reporters who ask the tough questions, the centralised talking points distribution network on the republican side, which dupes people into thinking a story has legitimacy because "everyone" is saying it, and on and on. This is why you can credibly argue a right wing bias in the media. It's not that the media sets out to be biased, it's that the republicans have tailored their PR to exploit the biases that are built into the media as it stands.

        So, what to do about it? Number one is lots of media watchdog groups which inform the media of everything they report wrong from all sides of the political spectrum. That exists now. Number two is to bring back the illegality of lying in the press. No journalist in an official press capacity should ever be allowed to knowingly report a lie as fact. How to do this, I'm not exactly clear on. Maybe allowing people to sue for journalistic malpractice, like how you can sue your doctor for medical malpractice. But it still needs to be done. Number three is to get more variation in the media by bringing back reasonable ownership limits. I'm not advocating breaking up the media empires that exist, I'm just saying no one should be allowed to buy new outlets beyond a certain rather low marketshare, which over time will make the media market diversify again as media outlets get sold by the major media empires. And as long as I'm in fantasy land, number four would be to teach everyone a class on logic in high school, explaining what logical fallacies [datanation.com] are, and how to recognize them, and explaining how to verify a claim you hear through logic, instead of through fallacy. But like I said, that would be fantasy land.
      • by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @08:21AM (#10403194) Homepage
        Yes, there was a very interesting documentary by a journalist in Iraq on a few weeks ago on BBC 2 ( I think it was repeat ) who was spending time with the American troops, general population and met some of the insurgents / terrorists.

        Some of what he said and filmed was very interesting indeed.

        Sadir city for example he explained as being an extremely poor run down area under Saddam which contrary to the hopes of it's inhabitants remained just as poor an area under the Americans, no running water and no sign of anyone doing anything to improve or rebuild it. This area is now used a recruiting ground for the Medhi army where given the situation of the people there is proving very fertile. It is these people who travelled to the Mosque in Najaf ( or where ever it was ) . When they are back home in Sadr city it is a virtual no go zone for Americans.

        He was also out on the street during some general demonstrations which became increasingly frightening as he was targetted by the crowd as a westerner and before long had a dozen people surrounding him holding guns and knives and someone shouting at him holding a live grenade and threatening to pull the pin. He was rescued by some local shopkeepers who waded into the crowd with a gun and took him into there shop which they then shut up and told him to sit there and wait it out. The interesting bit is what he said about his rescuers, essentially he let it out he'd met them before but on that occasion it was during an interview he'd obtained with the insurgent forces i.e. the people who rescued him were deeply involved in a lot of the terrorism going on in the area.

        The other interesting thing was that a lot of the insurgents he interviewed were fanatically religious but some of the other leaders he intervied showed no sign of religious fanaticism at all and appeared to have a very practical outlook.

        I think the overwhelming sense I got from that documentary is that Iraq is not a simple problem, various people are all involved in fighting; Americans, religious groups, 'the resistance' and no one is really involved in actually rebuilding much or improving anything. The Americans can't because they are too busy concentrating on their own security and the Iraqis aren't because they either have no resources or they are too busy planting roadside bombs.

        The really worrying thing is the sheer amount of Iraq which is now effectively out of the Americans control and controlled by the resistance or lunatic religious groups. At the end of day the general Iraqi population are happy to be free from Saddam but very unhappy about the destruction of their country and the security situation.
    • Re:Letters from Iraq (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Che Guevarra ( 85906 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:33AM (#10402323)

      "The nerve agent VX is one of the most toxic ever developed.

      Iraq has declared that it only produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tonnes and that the quality was poor and the product unstable. Consequently, it was said, that the agent was never weaponised. Iraq said that the small quantity of agent remaining after the Gulf War was unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.

      (2003 report)
      UNMOVIC, however, has information that conflicts with this account. There are indications that Iraq had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that more had been achieved than has been declared. Indeed, even one of the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than declared.

      There are also indications that the agent was weaponised. In addition, there are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.

      I would now like to turn to the so-called "Air Force document" that I have discussed with the Council before. This document was originally found by an UNSCOM inspector in a safe in Iraqi Air Force Headquarters in 1998 and taken from her by Iraqi minders. It gives an account of the expenditure of bombs, including chemical bombs, by Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War. I am encouraged by the fact that Iraq has now provided this document to UNMOVIC.

      The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.

      The discovery of a number of 122 mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions.

      The investigation of these rockets is still proceeding. Iraq states that they were overlooked from 1991 from a batch of some 2,000 that were stored there during the Gulf War. This could be the case. They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.

      The finding of the rockets shows that Iraq needs to make more effort to ensure that its declaration is currently accurate. During my recent discussions in Baghdad, Iraq declared that it would make new efforts in this regard and had set up a committee of investigation. Since then it has reported that it has found a further 4 chemical rockets at a storage depot in Al Taji.

      I might further mention that inspectors have found at another site a laboratory quantity of thiodiglycol, a mustard gas precursor.

      Whilst I am addressing chemical issues, I should mention a matter, which I reported on 19 December 2002, concerning equipment at a civilian chemical plant at Al Fallujah. Iraq has declared that it had repaired chemical processing equipment previously destroyed under UNSCOM supervision, and had installed it at Fallujah for the production of chlorine and phenols. We have inspected this equipment and are conducting a detailed technical evaluation of it. On completion, we will decide whether this and other equipment that has been recovered by Iraq should be destroyed.

      Biological weapons

      I have mentioned the issue of anthrax to the Council on previous occasions and I come back to it as it is an important one.

      Iraq has declared that it produced about 8,500 litres of this biological warfare agent, which it states it unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991. Iraq has provided little evidence for this production and no convincing evidence for its destruction.

      There are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared, and that at least some of this was retained after the declared destruction date. It might still exist. Either it should be found and be destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision or else convincing evidence should be produced to show that it was, indeed, destroyed in 1991.

      As I reported to the Council on 19 December last year, Iraq did not declare a significant quantity, some 650 kg, of bacterial growth media, which was acknowledged as imported in Iraq's submission to the Amorim panel in February 1999. As part of its 7 December 2002 declaration, Iraq resubmitted the Amorim panel document, but the table showing this particular import of media was not included. The absence of this table would appear to be deliberate as the pages of the resubmitted document were renumbered.

      In the letter of 24 January to the President of the Council, Iraq's Foreign Minister stated that "all imported quantities of growth media were declared". This is not evidence. I note that the quantity of media involved would suffice to produce, for example, about 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax."

    • BS Alert! (Score:5, Informative)

      by RealProgrammer ( 723725 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:55AM (#10402397) Homepage Journal
      I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naÃve young soldier...

      Al Lorentz is the former Chairman of the Constitution Party of Texas. He was against the war in Iraq, because Lorentz believes in isolationism (even after 9/11). So while he is not "some politically idealistic and naÃve young soldier", that's only true because he's not young. He is a political ideologue, with an anti-Bush paranoia.

      I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region.

      That made my Bullshit Detector go off like a Claymore in a cattle drive.

      Al Lorentz spent most of his career in the Reserves.

      A noncomm in Civil Affairs doesn't have a "muds-eye view" of the war at all. He may as well be back in Texas, for all the fighting he'll see. This guy is an armchair General. Why isn't he an officer? Because he's incompetent for a commission, that's why.

      Al Lorentz [cptexas.org] was a Bush basher before he went to Iraq, and he's a Bush basher now.

      From another article [prisonplanet.com] by Lorentz:
      Pigeon holing is a mental tool used by the ignorant to help them disregard information, ideas and people whom they are incapable or unwilling to understand. A good example of pigeon holing is to declare flippantly that anyone who believes any sort of conspiracy whatsoever as some sort of kook. Never mind that history is replete with proven conspiracies and that a conspiracy is merely two or more individuals conspiring together for any means.
      • Re:BS Alert! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by eyeye ( 653962 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @04:13AM (#10402592) Homepage Journal
        Hold on here, being against bush means you can never legitimately criticise him?

        I hate hitler. If I was to point out some of his crimes would you just brush them off saying I am just some "political ideologue, with an anti-hitler paranoia".

        Pigeon holing is a mental tool used by the ignorant to help them disregard information

        ahhh the sweet irony of you posting that.
    • by artemis67 ( 93453 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @09:29AM (#10403630)
      (Copied from The American Thinker, the link in my sig)

      Letter from Iraq
      September 28th, 2004

      [Editor's note: The letter which follows has reached mevia a number of American military officers. They tell me that it has privately circulated widely in military circles, and is generally regarded as credible by knowledgeable people. The version which appears below has had many corroborating details removed, to avoid compromising possibly sensitive military information.

      The author must remain anonymous. Thus, no guarantee of its provenance can be made. Nevertheless, the argument made by The Major is compelling enough that American Thinker readers deserve to see it. Caveat lector.]

      I'm a Major in the United States Military, in Iraq. The analysts and pundits, who don't see what I see on a daily basis, have no factual basis to talk about the situation - especially if they have yet to set foot in Iraq. The media filters out most events, through a sieve of their latent prejudices - personal, political, and professional.*

      The US media recently buzzed with the news of an intelligence report that is very negative about the prospects for Iraq's future. CNN's website said, "[The]National Intelligence Estimate was sent to the White House in July with a classified warning predicting the best case for Iraq was 'tenuous stability' and the worst case was civil war."

      That report, along with the car bombings and kidnappings in Baghdad in the past couple days, were portrayed in the media as more proof of absolute chaos and the intransigence of the insurgency. From where I sit, at the Operational Headquarters in Baghdad, that just isn't the case. The public is being misled about what is happening.

      The media types who think this "National Intelligence Estimate" is the last word on the situation either don't know, or don't want to know the realities of the process behind it. It was delivered to the White House in July. That means that the information that was used to derive the intelligence in the immediate aftermath of the April battle for Fallujah, and other events was gathered in the Spring.

      The report doesn't cover what has happened in July or August, let alone September. The naysayers will point to the recent battles in Najaf and draw parallels between that and what happened in Fallujah in April. They aren't even close.

      The bad guys did us a HUGE favor by gathering together in one place and trying to make a stand. It allowed us to focus on them and defeat them. Make no mistake, Al Sadr's troops were thoroughly smashed. The estimated enemy killed in action is huge. Before the battles, the residents of the city were afraid to walk the streets. Al Sadr's enforcers would seize people and bring them to his Islamic court where sentence was passed for religious or other violations. Long before the battles, people were looking for their lost loved ones who had been taken to "court" and never seen again.

      Now Najafians can and do walk their streets in safety. Commerce has returned and the city is being rebuilt. Iraqi security forces and US troops are welcomed and smiled upon. That city was liberated again. It was not like Fallujah - the bad guys lost and are in hiding or dead.

      You may not have even heard about the city of Samarra. Two weeks ago, that Sunni Triangle city was a "No-go" area for US troops. But guess what? The locals got sick of living in fear from the insurgents and foreign fighters that were there and let them know they weren't welcome. They stopped hosting them in their houses and the mayor of the town brokered a deal with the US commander to return Iraqi government sovereignty to the city without a fight. The people saw what was on the horizon and decided they didn't want their city looking like Fallujah in April or Najaf in August.

      Boom, boom, just like that two major "hot spots" cool down in rapid succession. Does that mean that those towns are completely pacified? No. What it does mean is that we are lea
  • Is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bryan_W ( 649785 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:27PM (#10401269) Journal
    Is this really news to anyone? I watched only a small clip of the speech and said "Bush's speechwriters wrote that speech.
    • Re:Is this news? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:20AM (#10401661)
      On the day of Allawi's speech, The Daily Show [comedycentral.com] also pointed out the similarity in verbiage with the President's speech writers .
    • Re:Is this news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:20AM (#10401662)
      According to the Washington Post: [washingtonpost.com]
      White House spokesman Scott McClellan, asked Tuesday about similarities between Bush's statements about Iraq and Allawi's speech to Congress last week, said he did not know of any help U.S. officials gave with the speech. "None that I know of," he said, adding, "No one at the White House." He also said he did not know if the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had seen the speech.

      But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last week, officials said. Senor declined to comment.

      If the White House wrote Allawi's speech, that would be one thing. If the Bush campaign wrote it, that would be quite another. But the Bush campaign has never been shy about using the power of the White House to get an upper hand in their campaigning, and this is nothing out of the ordinary for them. They're in a position to do it, but they're not supposed to do it. Apparently they see nothing wrong with it. Recall the terror alert they issued within hours of Kerry's DNC speech. Could have been a real terror alert, so they have plausible deniability and Kerry can't say anything. Now we have the Bush campaign quietly putting phrases directly into Allawi's mouth, and Kerry can't criticize this Pollyanna nonsense without "undercutting a valuable ally". (Like ahemcoughFrancecoughcoughGermanyahem never mind.)

      Relying on plausible deniability is OK if you only do it once in a while. But as these terribly convenient events pile up, the probability of the null hypothesis (i.e. that these are all just coincidences, and nobody is abusing his presidential powers) gets smaller and smaller. The electorate starts dividing into people with a healthy level of cynicism and people who are essentially hero worshippers.
  • Ahh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:28PM (#10401276)
    Writing the speeches of your conquered enemies. You know this is the exact same tactic Julius Caesar used against the nations he conquered, and he was one of Rome's greatest leaders.

    To sum up, worked-for-caesar.
  • Let's face it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Audent ( 35893 ) <audent@ilovebiscuits. c o m> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:28PM (#10401278) Homepage
    nobody writes their own speeches all the time any more. There are spin doctors and there are teams of spin doctors. Under Clinton the model was to use competing teams of writers, similar to the model used by TV show Friends I'm told, to come up with the best speech possible.

    Having said that, I would have thought his own spin doctors would have written it, not White House staff, but really this idea that Iraq is somehow sovereign and no longer merely existing at the whim of the US is bollocks. The White House is the final authority in Iraq today and will be for many years to come.

    Flame away...
    • The White House is the final authority in Iraq today and will be for many years to come.

      If the White House wanted to be the final authority in Iraq for years to come why are elections scheduled in Iraq this January? Doesn't this give the people of that country the right to elect their own leaders to effect the policy they desire?
      • by aled ( 228417 )
        They could vote only if they are not violent [cnn.com].
        Given the number of recent attacks, if safe to say that the whole country is unsafe and going to civil war.
        • by jd ( 1658 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:28AM (#10401710) Homepage Journal
          And guess who gets to decide if those places are unsafe? Oh! Wow! It's the US Government! Now, isn't it interesting that the US regards those areas least in favour of the US as the "most hostile"?

          It's one thing to not have voters cast ballots in genuinely unsafe conditions. It's quite another to rule that areas that support someone other than the US-selected leader cannot vote.

          This makes the fuss over who got onto what banned list in the 2000 US Presidential elections seem like a trivial affair. Here' we're talking about the disenfranchising of entire regions, based on how the US happens to feel about those regions at the time. Those who feel the election is tainted and invalid have some serious grounds for complaint. Now all they have to do is find anyone who'll listen. That's the hard part.

      • by atlasheavy ( 169115 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:13AM (#10401620) Homepage
        Do you really think the US government would allow a theocracy to come to power in Iraq? How about Afghanistan? What if this is what the people of those countries want? What if that government is unhelpful or outwardly hostile to the US? Would we still want them around? That's the up and down-side to democracy; it is what the people make of it.
    • Re:Let's face it... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spludge ( 99050 )
      This makes Bush's debating points about leading Iraq towards freedom seem even more hollow. How can the US ever get out of Iraq when the Bush administration cannot even let the Iraqi government speak for themselves.

      Iraq is now a mismanaged mess that didn't need to be. With full the support of other countries we would not have to stretch ourselves so thin to help Iraq rebuild... of course that was never going to happen with the Bush administration.

    • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:50PM (#10401447)
      The point isn't that "people dont write their own speeches" the point is that a foreign government's party (the Republicans) wrote a speech for an Iraqi national AND Prime Minister (Allawi) to deliver to the US congress.

      That's not "spin" or "status quo" thats outright imperialism.
    • by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:42AM (#10401779) Homepage
      To run yet another clarification across the line:

      Imagine finding out that Kerry's speechwriter is the same guy as Bush's speechwriter. One guy writing two wholly different scripts; ignore how difficult that would be, and focus on the shock of realizing one guy ultimately decides what either of them is to say.

      It would be a little unnerving, to say the least.

      Same sorta thing about Bush and Alliwa. A little unnerving that the guy who is running Iraq is in lockstep agreement with Bush, right down to the cute catchphrases.

      The image of a muppet with a human up its ass comes to mind, as one man is controlling two leaders. Not so sure that's a very wise idea, especially as that puppeteer wasn't elected for the job.
  • by hwestiii ( 11787 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:28PM (#10401279) Homepage
    Why should we be surprised by this? The entire Iraq war has been managed more as a political event than a military action. That this administration, which is profoundly unwilling to consider any views than those expressed in its own talking points, would spoon feed self-serving rhetoric to its hand picked Iraqi puppet shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

    I suspect Senator Finestein's shock is strictly rhetorical. I certainly hope it is.
    • by ImpTech ( 549794 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:58PM (#10401511)
      More to the point, Allawi's comments were *clearly* taken right from previous Bush speeches. He so closely parroted Bush, of course the White House wrote it for him! I can't believe that anybody listened to his speech and thought otherwise.

      Heck, the Daily Show did a bit on it... specifically the part where Allawi does the "we are safer, you are safer, the world is safer" bit. I can't even begin to imagine why the Iraqi president would come over here to inform us that we (the US) are "safer". So obviously the White House told him to say it. Can't believe this is even news...
  • Debate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by simgod ( 563459 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:28PM (#10401280)
    Hey, I watched the debate... Bush praised Allawi very much... sure ... because he really is a puppet ... he was a CIA agent for christ's sake ... but Kerry surely won it ...
  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (cificap_4k)> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:30PM (#10401291) Homepage Journal
    Because I distinctly saw President Bush take a drink of water while he was speaking.
  • News for nerds? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:30PM (#10401293)
    Stuff that matters?

    Where are my Star Wars action figures?
    Where are my Natalie Portman pics?
    Where are my eye-burning lasers?
    Where are my new programming languages?

    I want my Slashdot back!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:32PM (#10401316)

    You know, I think about Missy Johnson. She's a fantastic lady I met in Charlotte, North Carolina....

    You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can...
  • Puppet Show? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siriuskase ( 679431 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:34PM (#10401326) Homepage Journal
    This kinda news, whether true or not, doesn't help Bush kill the rumors that Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi isn't some kind of a puppet. But, hey, we wrote the Japanese constitution and made the Empiror publicly declare he wasn't a god, and that all worked out.
    • Re:Puppet Show? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @05:01AM (#10402704)
      But, hey, we wrote the Japanese constitution and made the Empiror publicly declare he wasn't a god, and that all worked out.

      That worked because we nuked two of their cities and threatened (even though we were fresh out of nukes) to continue.

      When your only choice is to accept or be annihilated, you'll find people generally accept. In Japan the people were united behind Hirohito. Beating him was seen in the eyes of the Japanese as beating the Japanese. In Iraq, the people aren't so tied to Saddam. So beating Saddam is not equal to beating the Iraqi people.

      In Iraq they don't face instant and inevitable annihilation, so they aren't as likely to fall in line. That doesn't even take into consideration the cultural differences between Iraq and Japan which determines a sort of national characteristic where in Japan is one of following the rules and in Iraq is not quite so uniform.
  • daily show (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:37PM (#10401354) Homepage
    Well, it is nice to see that someone in Washington watches the Daily Show, I guess. The night after the speech they did a segment showing that several of the phrases in the speech were exactly the same as the president uses.

    • by Gregg Alan ( 8487 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:49PM (#10401439)
      Well, it is nice to see that someone in Washington watches the Daily Show, I guess. The night after the speech they did a segment showing that several of the phrases in the speech were exactly the same as the president uses.

      Phrases indeed. I long for a day when the President of the United States can speak in complete sentances.
    • Re:daily show (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hwestiii ( 11787 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:29AM (#10401714) Homepage
      If you like the Daily Show, you should take a listeng to this FreshAir interview with John Stewart [npr.org] that was broadcast on NPR today.

      For the first part of the interview he is trademark Stewart, mixing wise cracks with straight lines just about evenly, but about 15 minutes into the interview it really changes. The interviewer starts talking about the reputation that The Daily Show, the self-described "fake news show" has developed as one of the most perceptive analysts of the current state of American politics. Stewart is quite modest, but displays a marvelous level of understanding of the role of the media in America, and the way that its has abrogated its responsibility to be a skeptical filter and not simply an uncritical platform for the political spin-meister of the moment.

      The great irony, of course, is that very few of the talking heads in the "non-fake news" business seem to have this level of understanding of the responsibility they bear.
      • Re:daily show (Score:4, Interesting)

        by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @02:39AM (#10402345) Journal
        Absolutely right.

        I'm not sure if anyone else has been watching this unfolding, as I have, but the relationship between Ted Coppel and John Stewart is really quite facinating.

        Back during the Democratic convention, Stewart was featured in a Nightline interview, and he discussed the issue of the press no longer trying to get to the facts, but rather just allowing the two sides to go through their talking points, even with blatantly incorrect facts. Before the interview, Coppel made a comment about how uncomfortable he was with so many people getting informed by the Daily Show, but he obviously agreed, at least to some extent, by the end of the interview.

        They got a chance to meet again during the Republican convention, and largely the same thing happened. Stewart talked about how the media is not doing it's job and loosing the public, and Coppel wasn't taking anything too much too heart.

        Each time after these two meet, both their shows change significantly. Coppel just simply gets tougher mainly, but also does a (light) story on the subject. Stewart throws in a few references in his own show, such as the reporter who keeps talking about the confirmed facts as "one side of the story", and explaining that "unbiased" means giving equal time for each side to offer it's spin to the public.

        I've been watching both shows for quite some time, and they've been completely seperate for the entire time. Then they meet, and become instant allies if you will, and there is an immediate and distinct change to both of them each time.

        It's really facinating, mainly because Coppel is perhaps the most trusted news reporter since Cronkite, and he is actually realizing there is substance to the issue. A big change from the status quo, where the media is blissfully wrapped up in itself, and paying no attention to anything unless it comes from another reporter. It's the ultimate in incestuous relationships, and the public is the one who looses out.
  • Puppeteer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HitByASquirrel ( 710289 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:43PM (#10401384)
    It's interesting that Bush tonight stated that calling the new Iraqi Prime Minister a "puppet" is preposterous.

    But Kerry didn't call him a puppet in the debate.. Bush broght it up. Bush's subcouncious seems to have gotten in his way a few times tonight.
  • The issue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grainofsand ( 548591 ) <grainofsand.gmail@com> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:44PM (#10401398)
    .. is how the President of any other soverign country would behave if he / she was handed a speech to be read while the invited guest of a foreign country.

    Imagine the outcry if Bush or Kerry went to China to address the National People's Congress and was handed a speech and told to read it.

    Iraq is not a US, EU or UN state; it is a soverign country.
  • I'm amazed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:54PM (#10401477)
    I'm amazed that this is the first person to stand up and say this publically. Because it was the first thing I said on a politics mailing list I'm on a week ago when I read the transcript of the speech. And everybody else (we all read the transcript) pretty much agreed with me that it was written at least in part by the Bush administration, more likely in full - and this is a list that has more conservatives than liberals on it.

    I just assumed it would be obvious from the fact that Allawi repeated not one, but almost every catchphrase that Bush throws into all of his speeches on the "war on terror". Anyway, read the speech [cnn.com] for yourself and see if it sounds like chunks of it came from the same speechwriters Bush uses. Mind you, I'd expect Allawi to be thankful and congratulatory, since he needs the US's continued commitment right now, but I wouldn't expect his own speechwriters to parrot back Bush's campaign slogans word-for-word.

    Anyway, this doesn't come as a surprise to me, it was just much more blatant and obvious than I would have thought possible. Another poster brought up Julius Caesar, who wrote his conquered enemies speeches for them. His long lived and immensely successful successor, Caesar Augustus, was the master of running an authoritarian regime while maintaining all the dressings of the Republic, practically the inventor of political spin and authoritarianism cloaked in democracy.

    Unfortunately, the analogies don't end there. Trading freedom for security under authoritarian regimes was practically pioneered by the Romans. If our schoolchildren were forced to read some of the classics, I wonder how different things might be in America today.

  • by theparanoidcynic ( 705438 ) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:58PM (#10401509)
    The puppet prime minister of the puppet government of a half-conquered nation is saying what his puppet boss' bosses tell him.

    I for one welcome our puppet overlords.
  • Fun with words! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by helix400 ( 558178 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:11AM (#10401599) Journal
    ...allegedly wrote...

    Is this the part where I get to assume it's already fact?
  • by slam smith ( 61863 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @12:36AM (#10401746) Homepage
    It is just me or is slashdot politics sounding awful similar to Democratic Underground [democratic...ground.com].

    The shrill nature of the allegations and insinuations are just laughable against President Bush.
  • by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) * on Friday October 01, 2004 @03:57AM (#10402553)
    The following text was located at BoingBoing, and is supposed to be from Wall Street Journalist, Farnaz Fassihi, located in Bagdhad. I Googled her name a bit, and Farnaz Fassihi is indeed on WSJ staff as a journalist. I do not know if this e-mail she sent is real so I asked her. A reply is pending. Anyway, it is good reading, and it is A LOT more like the AP and AFP newswire reports I see every day than the hard-ass edited Fox News and CNN stuff I see (Yes, we get Fox News in Norway. No, it is not "fair and balanced")


    Farnaz Fassihi, a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Iraq, confirmed that a widely-redistributed letter she emailed to friends about the nightmarish situation in Iraq was indeed written by her. Too bad the WSJ doesn't allow this reporter to write these kinds of stories for the paper.


    Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.

    Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't.

    There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second.

    It's hard to pinpoint when the turning point exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a potential threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to imminent and active threat, a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

    Iraqis like to call this mess the situation. ÊWhen asked how are things? they reply: the situation is very bad.

    What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war.

    In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health, which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers-- has now stopped disclosing them.

    Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day.

    A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trap
  • War on Terrorism (Score:4, Informative)

    by microsopht ( 811294 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @05:19AM (#10402740)
    2500 people killed in WTC.
    Very Sad ,Bad thing to happen

    Launch War on Terrorism

    Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq 15033
    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ [iraqbodycount.org]


    Deaths due to kidnapping and beheading of citizens of countries [ some that have noting to do with war ] - Kenya,Egypt,India,Australia,Britain,France..etc etc.

    plus death of military persona of USA,Britain and other countries whose soldiers are present in Iraq.

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @07:50AM (#10403069)

    ... we must give them great respect, and curry their favor.

    Er, unless they actually help us in Iraq (UK, Australia, etc), or are trying at great personal risk to rebuild a country and hold elections (Allawi). Then we sneer at them and call them Bush puppets.

    Who's doing exactly the wrong thing for political purposes, again?

  • by Oestergaard ( 3005 ) on Friday October 01, 2004 @10:08AM (#10403973) Homepage
    ...come on - what did you expect?

    No, I'm not just trying to be a tinfoil-hat-carrying left-wing anti-US conspiration theorist - but seriously, have you read a paper the past few years?

    How this can be "news" is beyond me. How it ever became "news for nerds" that's a whole other story...

    Please, can we go back to Xeon vs. Opteron bashing?

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan